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BLANCHE (32) Built in 1786, Burlesdon.
Wrecked in 1799.

  • 1799 Capt. John AYSCOUGH.
    Armed en flute she accompanied the expedition under Vice Ad. MITCHELL and Sir Ralph Abercromby to Holland and continued with the fleet until the surrender of the Texel squadron.
  • On 27 September she followed the orders of Capt. LAWFORD of ROMNEY and got under weigh at 1 PM from Mars Diep to escort a convoy home. At 4 PM the pilot put her ashore on the middle bank in the Sculp Gat; they soon got her off, but at 6 o'clock she was aground again about 2 miles N. N. W. of Kyck Duyn. This time it was top of high water and it was 1 o'clock the following morning before she could be hauled off and steered on the course that the pilot directed. Almost at once they ran on to the Dalrymple Shoal about one cable from the black buoy marking it. The depth of water was only 8 to 10 feet and BLANCHE's draught was 17 feet. Capt. AYSCOUGH signalled for boats with anchors and hawsers and for schuyts to offload the guns and heavy stores, but because the sea was breaking over the ship and there was so much motion, this proved impossible and several boats were overset and lives were lost attempting it. When the ship threatened to broach to he ordered first the main-mast and then the mizzen to be cut away. Two boat-sails were rigged on the poop to steer the ship if she drifted over the shoal, which she did about 4 PM , but, as she was taking in water, the only chance for saving the ship's company was to run her on shore in the Nieuwe Diep. Here the the tide ebbed and flowed into her and her whole frame was hogged so that it was impossible to remove her.
    A court martial was held at Sheerness on 1 November 1799 which found that BLANCHE was lost through the fault of the pilot and that the captain, the officers and crew showed great professional skill in getting her off and saving the stores and the lives of the people. They were all honourably acquitted and during the same month Capt. AYSCOUGH was appointed to INCONSTANT.

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